A new school year brings the same butterflies and nerves as your beginning years in your business. How will things turn out, will it be difficult and not knowing what to expect bring roller coasters of emotions from students and entrepreneurs of all ages!
But specifically, how well do we know our customers and their customer service expectations? Consumer preferences and behaviors are changing and those organizations that don't adapt are likely to struggle to attract and keep today's customers.
To build a successful business, whatever it is, you need to have a clear understanding of who your customers are. So how sure are you that you truly know your customers and what they really expect from your business and customer service? Do you know them at least as well as they know your brand?
Answering those questions might be challenging as today’s consumers are much more sophisticated, much more educated and more demanding as they used to be a while ago. In fact, 72% of them now expect a customer service agent to know their contact information, product information and service history as soon as they engage and without being asked.
Based on research studies, we’ve highlighted 13 things that you need to know about your customers to make sure you meet their customer service expectations. What else would you add to the list as a customer? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
1.Customers value “Good” service more than “fast” service
In recent studies show that 97% of customers who receive competent, knowledgeable, and all encompassing services are more likely to remain loyal to the brand
2.Treat then right, or your competitor will
60% of global consumers reported they have stopped doing business with a brand due to poor customer service experiences, and this number increased in the 18-34 age range up to 68%!
3.Customers will stick to their loyalty programs – if you get them started!
Research shows that customers are twice as likely to stick with a loyalty program if the programs appear already to be started- like signing up once and not having to bring a card or flyer- tasks that seem to be already under way are more likely to be completed.
But business beware- in researching this trend, we found that 62% of customers feel they are not being rewarding or unappreciated in their loyalty to the brand. This goes even farther, and out of those customers 53% have switched from the brand after feeling unappreciated.
So to those business with the loyalty programs, make sure you are getting feedback if these rewards are making your customers feel appreciated. To new businesses, read on!
4.Your Customers will Remember You if You Remember Them
We’re talking about personalization, and according to recent research examining brain activation, few sounds are as pleasant as hearing our own names!
Fact is, people are more attentive and interested when they hear their names, be sure your small business takes advantage of getting to know your customers by using their names when appropriate.
5.Your customers are very interested about what others say about customer service you give
88% of customers are influenced by online customers reviews when making purchases decisions. To gain better reviews numbers, make sure to respond to every review, even if it is a negative one and try to defuse the situation and ask to bring that customer back to the business to get a second chance. If it’s a good one, show your appreciation how your business does best!
6.When a customer is unhappy, they DO tell others about it
95% of customers share bad experiences with others, 54% share bad experiences with 5+ people, 45% share negative reviews on social media sites. Beware when a client is unhappy, and when they contact you either directly or via social media or email, try to get the situation resolved then and there, or else beware the wrath of the negative review!
7.When I contact your customer service, I expect you to know me
72% of consumers now expect a customer service agent to know their contact information, product information and service history as soon as they engage without being asked.
8.Customers want effortless service with no need to repeat themselves or follow up with your business
Customers reported the two most important aspects of a satisfying customer service experience are (1) not having to repeat themselves or not be passed to another agent 39% and (2) contact resolution after first attempt 24%
Attempt to hear your customer and really understand what they need before responding with a possible solution, and always try to handle their issues and not pass them along to someone else unless necessary!
9.When a customer contacts your customer support, they want a friendly voice
73% of consumers report that friendly customer service representatives can make them fall in love with a brand. If your small business doesn’t have a dedicated customer support individual, make sure to wade through your employees and try to assign this task to the friendliest of your team members!
10.They want to find answers to common problems without the need of a live person
90% of consumers surveyed say they expect brands and businesses to have a customer self-service offering.
This is a somewhat easy task, once you do some customer research of your clients and find out what most common they had problems with and add a FAQ section, or reach out to your webmaster and have the content added.
11.Customers really want live support on your website
With 93% satisfaction, live chat leads the way over telephone, e-mail and social media support.
Depending on the platforms your have on your website, you can now add live customer support to most website building platforms.
12.Don’t ignore your customer on social media
67% of consumers across all age groups expect brands to respond within 24 hours to their customer service questions, complaints or praise on social media.
Assign one or two members of your team to social media, either posting or responding. It might seem like a lot of work now, but your customers want to know they’re being heard. Show them you’re listening!
13.Customers use their phones for everything, make sure your brand is mobile friendly
63% of U.S. adults us mobile devices at least several times per month to seek customer support.
Making sure your website as well as any services you offer are mobile friendly is a must have for any successful business with an online presence!
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